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PRODUCTIONS OF THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES.
-DISHES OF TOFT, SANS, AND TAYLOR. —TYGS. —THE
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the fictile productions of Staffordshire were, like those of other districts in which the potter's craft was followed, confined to the manufacture of the common vessels for everyday use—though but few were used, for wooden trenchers and bowls, pewterplates and dishes, black-jacks of leather, and metal flagons, &c., almost usurped their place. Large coarse dishes, tygs of various forms, with one, two, three, four, or more handles, pitchers, and other vessels, were however made, and are not unfrequently to be met with in the hands of collectors. In the seventeenth century these large coarse dishes and other vessels were made at Burslem and the surrounding places. The material is a coarse reddish or buff-coloured clay, and the ornaments are laid on in different coloured clays, and the whole is then glazed thickly over. One of these large dishes, now in the Museum of Practical Geology, is shown on the accompanying engraving. The body is of buffcoloured clay, with the ornaments laid on in relief in light and dark brown. The border is trellised, and in the centre is a lion rampant, crowned. On the rim beneath the lion is the
THE EARLY POTTERIES OF STAFFORDSHIRE.
name of the maker, THOMAS TOFT. In the same museum is a fragment of another similar dish, with the lion and unicorn. A A very fine dish of a similar kind, and by the same maker, is preserved in the museum of my late friend, Mr. Bateman, at Lomberdale House, and is engraved on the next page. It is twenty-two inches in diameter, and bears a half-length: crowned portrait of King Charles, with sceptre in each hand, and the initials C.R. Below the figure, on the rim, which,
as usual, is trellised in red and black, is the name THOMAS TOFT. In the same museum is another remarkably fine dish bearing two full-length figures in the costume of the Stuarts, the gentleman holding in his hand his hat and feather, and having “petticoat breeches,” tied stockings, and high-heeled boots with ties, and the lady holding a bunch of flowers. Between the figures are the initials W. T., and on the rim at the bottom, in precisely the same manner as the Toft dishes, is the name WILLIAM : TALOR. Another dish of this kind is in the possession of Mr. Mills, of Norwich.
The dish is nineteen inches in diameter. It bears three heads in ovals, with foliage, &c., and the name RALPHOFT, or Ralph Toft, the H and T being apparently conjoined. The ground is buff, and the ornaments are laid on in dark and light brown clay. It is engraved on the next page. Another maker of this period, whose name occurs in the same manner as those just described, was WILLIAM SANS.
Of the makers of these dishes, it is interesting to observe that Toft is an old name connected with the pottery district, and that members of the family are still potters in the neighbourhood. It is also an old Derbyshire name, being connected with Youlgreave and other places in that neighbouring county.
The “ Tygs," of which I have before spoken, appear to
THE EARLY POTTERIES OF STAFFORDSHIRE.
have been made in considerable numbers, and, indeed, to have constituted one of the staple manufactures of the potters of that day. They were the ordinary drinking-cups of the period, and were made with one, two, three, four, or more handles. The two-handled ones are said to have been
“parting-cups,” and those with three or four handles “loving-cups,” being so arranged that three or four persons drinking out of one, and each using a different handle, brought their lips to different parts of the rim. Examples of some of the forms of these tygs are here shown. The
two first which are engraved were found in a long disused lead mine at Great Hucklow, where they must have remained for about a couple of centuries. The third has three handles and a spout, and is ornamented with bosses of a lighter colour, bearing a swan, a flower, and a spread eagle. The fourth, a two-handled cup, is of the same
general form as those with one handle, and is, as will be seen, of elegant shape. These two latter specimens are in the Museum of Practical Geology.
A curious candlestick, here represented, said to be of Staffordshire make, is preserved in the Museum of Practical